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Boohoo sales soar 44% to £1.23bn

Lauretta Roberts
22 April 2020

Boohoo has reported a 44% surge in sales to £1.23bn in the year to 29 February 2020 sending shares up in early trading.

The young fashion etail group achieved a 54% increase in profit before tax to £92.2m. However it said it would not be providing guidance for the coming financial year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

It said it had witnessed strong growth across all geographies with the UK up by 39% and international up by 51%. International sales now account for 45% of sales, up from 43%.

Boohoo brand revenue was up 38% to £600.7m, while PrettyLittleThing sales rose by the same percentage to £516.3m. Nasty Gal was up 106% to £98.8m.

During the year the company also acquired etailer MissPap and the Karen Millen and Coast brands, which it converted to digital-only offers. Of the latter two the company said the brands were “resurging under new ownership and direction as online-only brands, with their great heritage intact”.

After an initial slump in demand as the COVID-19 crisis hit, the company said it had witnessed improved year-on-year growth of group sales during April thanks to a recent bounce-back.

While Boohoo said it was not appropriate to give guidance for the year ending 28 February 2021 at this stage it did say that it had modelled many different scenarios and was satisfied it had sufficient headroom to weather the crisis with a net cash position of £241 million.

CEO John Lyttle said: "Whilst recent events have understandably overshadowed what has been a great year for boohoo, they have also highlighted its key strengths. Our business is founded on our ability to be agile and flexible and it is at times like this when these abilities are tested, and I am proud of how our colleagues and business partners from around the world have responded to the challenges posed by this pandemic.

"Although there is near-term uncertainty in the markets that we operate in, the group is underpinned by its incredibly strong balance sheet and is well-placed to leverage its scalable multi-brand platform and to continue to disrupt fashion markets around the world."

Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at said Boohoo "appears to be unbeatable". "[It] not only posted impressive final results to year end February 29th, but more importantly, the group has said that sales in April are ahead of last year's. Not bad at all given the current lock down climate.

"Boohoo are proving to be a beacon of light in otherwise dark times. Whilst Boohoo haven’t provided any financial details on how they are coping with the crisis, investors haven’t deemed it necessary. Advising that they are operating with tightened safety measures at its warehouse and that it has set up an emergency fund to help suppliers. The stock price jumped over 4%

"Boohoo’s reign looks set to continue even after lockdown eases. Without a vaccine social distancing measures are likely to remain in place for some time to come, meaning reduced numbers in bricks and mortar shops. This can only be beneficial for Boohoo which continues to grab market share."

Caroline Gulliver, an equity analyst at Jefferies, said Boohoo had “once again exceeded expectations” with its full-year figures.

“Encouragingly, Boohoo has continued to grow sales in March/April as the company has adapted to the Covid-19-impacted environment,” she added.

Shares were up 6% to 287.8p in early trading.

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